The MOOC Post-Mortem: Bibliometric and Systematic Analyses of Research on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), 2009 to 2022

Publication Name

Journal of Management Education


Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are online-based teaching programs designed to accommodate thousands of students without charging any fees. They began appearing in 2009 and 2010, became popular for a while, but are in decline now. This paper contains bibliometric and systematic reviews of research on MOOCs to see what can be learned from the innovation. The primary goals of these reviews are (1) to bibliometrically chart the research conducted on MOOCs and highlight significant milestones, (2) to reveal themes in MOOC research and discover key lessons, and (3) to surface any management education-specific lessons. The results show an increasing interest in scholarly work on MOOCs that demonstrates an enduring interest in reducing drop-out rates, although remedies have not yet been found. Studies demonstrate the importance of increasing opportunities for engagement and interaction. Few studies have explored MOOCs related to business and management. As universities have sought to monetize MOOCs, they have become less massive and less open as key components like credit and certification have been placed behind pay walls. The paper concludes with a critical discussion of MOOC research that suggests that they were a fad whose time has come and gone.

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